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Man hit care worker with beer bottle in town centre

PUBLISHED: 09:26 06 August 2019 | UPDATED: 09:26 06 August 2019

Ipswich Crown Court Picture: ARCHANT

Ipswich Crown Court Picture: ARCHANT

A 21-year-old man with severe learning difficulties hit his care worker over the head twice with a beer bottle after he became agitated in Ipswich town centre.

Brandon Baker, who was living in supported accommodation in Ipswich at the time, attacked his support worker Christian-Bogdan Oprea on October 5 last year.

At an earlier hearing yesterday, Baker was found unfit to stand trial by Judge Robert Overbury - who made his decision based on two medical reports from psychiatrists.

This meant a "trial of the facts" took place without Baker in attendance, with a jury asked only to decide whether or not he committed the act of wounding with intent charged against him.

There can be no verdict of guilty and the court cannot pass sentence because the defendant cannot put forward a defence.

Ipswich Crown Court heard on Monday that Mr Oprea had taken Baker for an appointment in the town to get his haircut but soon after his mood changed and he became agitated.

Baker began swearing and threatening Mr Oprea while carrying a plastic drinks bottle and pretending to hit him.

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The victim told the court he began walking in front of Baker in an attempt to diffuse the situation, but when the pair reached Fore Street, near the Salvation Army building, he felt a blow to the back of his head.

Mr Oprea said: "I felt a pain and turned round to see he had a glass bottle of beer in his hand, not the plastic one."

The pair grappled to the floor before Mr Oprea got up to walk away and was struck again by Baker - and this time the bottle was broken.

Mr Oprea flagged down a passing police car, while clutching his hoodie to the open wound on his head.

The court heard how the attending police officer heard Baker shout: "I hate him, get him away from me.'

Mr Oprea was taken to Ipswich Hospital by his manager where he was treated for two head wounds - a 5cm long and 0.5 deep cut and a 4cm long and 0.2 deep cut - which together required eight staples and skin glue.

Baker was arrested before being taken to Martlesham Police Investigation Centre and was subsequently charged.

A jury took less than half an hour to find Baker had committed the act charged against him.

Judge Overbury issued a section 37 hospital order under the Mental Health Act for Baker to receive treatment.

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